To achieve success with the slow carb diet there are a wide range of different foods you can enjoy – because the bottom line is, slow carb is a lifestyle not a fixed eating plan. Although Tim Ferris, the original author of the plan, proposed repeating a few simple meals regularly, you are not limited to this if you enjoy a wider variety of foods. Remember Ferris is a bachelor who does not enjoy cooking!

It does help to build your eating plan around a few key star slow carb ingredients though, as it makes it easier to shop and plan, and interesting to experiment and mix things up a bit. Here are some things that should definitely be in your shopping cart:

Eggs

A pretty much perfect carb-free protein food, you need to learn to love your eggs on the slow carb diet. Get free range organic eggs if you can – happy healthy hens make for a happier healthier you! There are so many different ways to prepare eggs, you need never eat the same meal twice …

If time is of the essence, a simple omelette can be on the table within about 3 minutes, and frying a couple of eggs barely takes any longer – both of these are perfect for a slow carb breakfast in a hurry. Hard boiled eggs keep for days in the fridge and are easy and economic to prepare in batches (just store away from the fresh ones to avoid confusion!). There are hundreds of other recipes you can try, if you want more variety, such as …

Soufflé
Chinese tea eggs
Eggs Benedict
Eggs Florentine
Scrambled eggs
Frittata
Spanish Tortilla
Poached eggs
Baked eggs
Curried eggs
Egg salad

… you get the idea.

Lentils

Lentils are a perfect partnership of protein with slow-release carbohydrates. They are cheap to buy, store pretty much for ever, and are very easy to cook. They take a wide range of flavors well – one naturally thinks in terms of curries and spices, but they are also surprisingly good with Mediterranean tastes, try cooking with fried garlic and oregano and a little shredded dried tomato, for a completely different meal. And if you want to go down the Indian spices route, it is OK to cheat and buy a quality pre-prepared blend. Just fry the powdered spice in vegetable oil, and add to the cooked lentils.

Even simpler, buy pre-cooked tins or jars of lentils: A little more expensive than dried, but unbelievably fast and convenient. Remember to rinse the storage water away thoroughly, then heat with your natural flavoring ingredients, and serve.

Spinach

As Ferriss pointed out, Popeye was right! For readers too young to get this reference, spinach is a fantastic source of iron and a wide range of phytochemicals, which fills you up, builds your muscles, and nourishes you thoroughly.

Some people are not sure how to cook spinach, but if you buy it fresh it's easy – just rinse / wash very thoroughly, and shake or spin to get as dry as you can. Enough water will cling to the leaves to steam in a pan, the only thing to remember is that the volume will diminish dramatically. So, big pan full of spinach to start with, as you'll end up with a small portion on the plate.

Nutmeg traditionally goes very well with spinach, and can be used liberally as it cooks. For speed and convenience, frozen spinach is widely available and comes in pre-chopped chunks. Although these will contain a lot of water, remember that it's already cooked so you wont get the huge shrinking, so allow for this when planning portion sizes before you defrost enough for six people!

Even if you built your slow carb program around no more than these three ingredients, you'd be off to a great start.